Imagine that you are a researcher and are conducting a study to
investigate a community problem. Using behavioral research principles,
select a macro systems problem to investigate (there are many suggested
in the textbook, e.g. domestic violence, homophobia, sexual abuse,
delinquent gangs) and design a study to solve this community problem.
The purpose of your Final Paper is to solve this community problem.
The Final Paper should be eight- to- ten pages (excluding title and reference pages) that includes the following components:
(Please note that for the purposes of offering instruction, examples have been given below about a research study involving the use of financial reward programs to combat truancy. Please make sure that you create a study that does not investigate the same content.)
- Introduction – This section should include a brief summary of the community problem that will be addressed, as well as the approach that will be used to investigate and solve the problem.
- Statement of the problem – The purpose of this section is to specify the main research question (e.g., Does enrollment in a financial reward program reduce truancy?) and define the community problem in more depth (e.g., truancy), analyzing why it is a problem. In addition, you will explain the problem-solving method you plan to employ (e.g., enrollment in a financial reward program) and state your main hypothesis. (e.g., Enrollment in a financial reward program is expected to reduce student truancy in the short term, but its long-term effects are difficult to predict.)
- Literature Review – In this section, research findings pertaining to both the community problem and problem solving method need to be illustrated. (e.g., Relevant articles may include those on the prevalence of truancy, the impact of truancy, previous methods used to combat truancy, and the benefits of financial reward programs.)
- Methodology – Explain how your Final Paper will investigate the problem. How will the study be designed? How many participants will be involved in the study and how will they be recruited? (e.g., Four classes at a local high school will be given the opportunity to participate in the research study. Two of these classes will be enrolled in the financial reward program.) How will data be collected? (e.g., Truancy data will be collected on all of the participants for the six months preceding the reward program, for the duration of the program, and for the six months after completion of the reward program.) What statistics will be used to evaluate the data? (e.g., Inferential statistics will be conducted to compare the truancy levels of the group of students participating in the program with those of the group of students who are not participating in the program.) Ethical considerations should be discussed to ensure that no unethical research is suggested.
- Conclusions – This section should contain concluding remarks about any potential problems that might be encountered in conducting this research study. It should also include speculations on the potential results of the study.
Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:
- Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Zastrow, C. H. & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Empowerment Series: Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.